If you are like most women, you are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to take care of your hair. Coconut oil is all the rage right now, and for a good reason! It is a natural product that has many benefits for hair health. This guide will discuss what coconut oil is, its benefits for 4C hair, and how to use it. We will also explore some of the potential side effects of using coconut oil on your hair.
So read on to learn more about this miracle oil!
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is a natural oil extracted from the meat of a coconut. Many cultures have used this oil for centuries for its multitude of benefits.
Coconut oil comprises primarily saturated fats, and as a result, it is solid at room temperature. It contains several smaller molecules called fatty acids, with the most predominant one being lauric acid.
It also contains Vitamins E and K and iron and magnesium.
Coconut trees mostly grow in tropical countries like India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Brazil, and Africa.
Coconut oil has a long shelf life and does not need refrigeration.
Now that we know a little more about coconut oil let’s explore its benefits for our hair!
So what are the benefits of coconut oil for 4c hair?
Coconut oil has many benefits for all hair types, but it is especially beneficial for those with 4c natural hair.
1. Protects Hair from Protein Loss
One of the benefits of coconut oil for 4c natural hair is that it can help to reduce protein loss in hair strands. This benefit is significant for people with natural hair, as protein loss is one of the leading causes of damaged and brittle hair.
Coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft and help protect the hair from protein loss. Hair can readily absorb coconut oil because it comprises small molecules that penetrate the hair shaft.
Protein helps hair stay strong and elastic, so coconut oil can help to keep your hair healthy and prevent breakage.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Another benefit of coconut oil for 4c natural hair is that it can help to reduce inflammation in the scalp. This benefit is significant because inflammation can lead to several problems, such as hair loss, dandruff, and an itchy scalp.
Coconut oil can help reduce inflammation in the scalp by reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines. It does so because coconut oil contains lauric acid.
Lauric acid, the predominant fatty acid in coconut oil, has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is an excellent choice for scalp conditions like dandruff or psoriasis.
3. Promotes Hair Growth
While there is insufficient evidence to support that coconut oil promotes hair growth at the follicle level, coconut oil can help prevent breakage and hair loss.
The lauric acid present in coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft and helps strengthen the hair.
Coconut oil can help prevent hair breakage by reducing the amount of water lost from the hair shaft. It does so because coconut oil is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water.
Coconut oil can also help to improve blood circulation in the scalp and increase nutrients, which is vital for hair growth.
As such, coconut oil promotes the health of the scalp and hair, which in turn help hair to grow longer.
4. Reduces Frizz
One of the most common complaints about natural 4c hair is frizz. Frizzy hair can be challenging to manage and style.
Coconut oil can help to reduce frizz by creating a barrier on the hair shaft. This barrier helps prevent moisture from entering the hair shaft, which can cause the hair to swell and become frizzy.
Coconut oil is also an excellent detangler. This benefit is because coconut oil helps lubricate the hair shaft and adds perfect slip. This slip makes it easier for combs and brushes to glide through the hair, reducing tangles and knots.
5. Deep Conditions Hair
Coconut oil is also an effective deep conditioner for 4c natural hair. It is occlusive and can help to seal in moisture.
So add coconut oil to your favourite conditioner, and it will help trap the moisturizing properties of your conditioners within your hair.
Coconut oil also penetrates the hair shaft providing nourishment from within and preventing moisture loss.
The result is smoother, shinier and frizz-free hair strands, and who doesn’t want that?
How to Use Coconut Oil for 4C Natural Hair Growth
Now that we know the benefits of coconut oil for 4c natural hair let’s discuss how to use it.
One can use coconut oil in several ways, but the most common way is to use it is:
As a pre-poo treatment
- Pre-pooing is the process of applying oil to your hair before shampooing.
- Coconut oil can help protect your hair from the harshness of shampoos and also help to detangle your hair.
- To use coconut oil as a pre-poo treatment, apply it to your dry hair and scalp and massage it for a few minutes.
- Then cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour. If you have the time, you could also leave it on overnight.
- Finally, shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
As a hot oil treatment
- Hot oil treatments are another excellent way to use coconut oil for 4c natural hair.
- Hot oil treatments help to condition the hair and scalp deeply.
- To do a hot oil treatment, heat coconut oil until it is warm (but not too hot) and then massage it into your scalp and hair.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave the coconut oil for 30 minutes to an hour. Then shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
As a Leave-In Conditioner
- You can also use coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner. Apply coconut oil to your wet hair, then style it as usual.
- You can also add coconut oil to your favourite leave-in conditioner to give it an extra boost of moisture.
As a scalp treatment for dandruff
- If you suffer from dandruff, coconut oil can help soothe your scalp and remove the flakes.
- To use coconut oil as a dandruff treatment, massage it into your scalp and leave it on for 20 minutes to an hour.
- Then shampoo your hair as usual. You may need to do this treatment a few times a week to see results.
As a hair mask
- Hair masks are another excellent way to use coconut oil for your natural hair.
- To do a coconut oil hair mask, apply coconut oil to your dry hair and scalp and then cover your hair with a shower cap.
- Leave the coconut oil in for 30 minutes to an hour and then shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
- You can also add coconut oil to your favourite deep conditioner for an extra moisture boost.
As a styling product
- You can also use coconut oil as a styling product. Apply it to your damp or dry hair and style it as usual.
- Coconut oil can help to tame frizz and give your hair a healthy shine.
The best type of coconut oil for 4c natural hair
There are two main types of coconut oil: unrefined (virgin) coconut oil and refined coconut oil.
- Unrefined (virgin or pure) coconut oil: is coconut oil extracted from fresh coconut meat without chemicals or high temperatures.
- Refined coconut oil: is coconut oil extracted from coconut meat dried using high temperatures and chemicals.
The best type of coconut oil for natural hair is unrefined (virgin) coconut oil. Virgin coconut is best because unrefined coconut oil is less processed and contains more natural nutrients and antioxidants beneficial for hair.
Refined coconut oil is more processed and has a lower moisture content than unrefined coconut oil.
Refined coconut oil is less likely to contain the same vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as unrefined coconut oil.
Refined coconut oil is not as good for natural hair as unrefined coconut oil.
There are two main methods of coconut oil extraction: cold-pressed and expeller-pressed.
- Cold-pressed coconut oil: is extracted from coconut meat without heat. This method preserves the nutrients in coconut oil.
- Expeller-pressed coconut oil is extracted from the coconut meat using a machine that applies pressure and heat to the coconut meat. As a result, coconut oil loses some of its nutrients.
The best type of coconut oil for natural hair is cold-pressed coconut oil. Cold-pressed coconut oil preserves the nutrients that are beneficial for hair health.
Avoid expeller-pressed coconut oil as it is less beneficial for hair health.
Some of our favourite coconut oils for 4c natural hair include:
- Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil
- Viva Naturals Organic Coconut Oil
- Nature’s Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil and low porosity 4c hair
As discussed earlier, coconut oil comprises lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid.
This small size of the lauric acid molecules means that coconut oil can readily penetrate the hair shaft. While this is generally a great benefit of coconut for 4c natural hair, it may not be suitable for low porosity hair.
Low porosity hair has a tight cuticle layer, making it difficult for water and moisture to enter the hair shaft.
As such, coconut oil may leave little to no room for water to penetrate the low porosity hair shaft. And as a result, coconut oil use could result in dry and dry brittle hair.
If you have low porosity hair, we recommend using coconut oil sparingly or avoiding it altogether.
Coconut oil and high porosity hair
High porosity hair has many pores or holes in the cuticle layer.
As such, moisture can quickly enter and exit the high porosity hair shaft.
As such, coconut oil is an excellent choice for high porosity hair as it can help seal in moisture.
Coconut oil can also help to reduce frizz and give the hair a healthy shine.
Potential side effects of coconut oil for 4c natural hair
Now that we know all about coconut oil let’s explore some of the potential side effects.
As with any new product, it is always essential to do a patch test before using coconut oil on your hair. A patch test will help ensure that you are not allergic to the oil.
Coconut oil can also cause build-up on the hair if not used correctly. Be sure only to use a small amount and shampoo your hair regularly to avoid this issue.
Finally, coconut oil can have a drying effect if used in excess. So be sure to start with a small amount and increase as needed.
Coconut oil is an excellent choice for natural hair, but it is vital to use it sparingly and avoid it if you have low porosity hair.
Do a patch test before using coconut oil on your hair, and shampoo regularly to avoid build-up.
We hope you enjoyed this coconut oil for 4c natural hair guide. Happy coconut oiling! 🙂